It was a key win for No.5 Texas that needed to digest losing the first place in the AP poll on Monday because of the setback, suffered on Saturday, against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Putting things back in place was the premise for the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday night, when they received the Iowa State Cyclones, as they looked to recover from the weekend defeat against the Nebraska Cornhuskers by 70-67, which cost them the first place in the AP poll. Finding themselves as No. 5 on Monday was a hard knock for the Longhorns, but they knew that there was no reason to look back as there is still way to go.
Jordan Hamilton also wanted to focus in the present and leave behind a two-game shooting slump, reason why he spent extra time in the gym in an effort to get his shot back. And you know what they say: hard work is the key to success, phrase that Hamilton was about to experience with his 20 points against the Cyclones. The contender for Big 12 of the year also contributed to the victory with eight rebounds and one steal.
For his teammate Tristan Thompson “Jordan came out with sparks flying,” he said in reference to Hamilton’s performance, which included consecutive 3-pointers in just 30 seconds during the second half, giving Texas a 19 point lead that left the Cyclones without options for a come from behind win.
This was something that Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg had very clear and described as “a battle you can’t win when you get down 20.” He felt the game was lost early in the second half, when they allowed the nine point difference to turn into 20 in less than four minutes.
Thompson also played a big role in the 76-53 home win, as he was the top performer for Texas with 17 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and three blocks, recording a double-digit point game for the sixth time in his career. Not to forget that for the ninth time in the season he led the team in rebounds.
As for the Cyclones this defeat by 23 points represented their fourth blowout loss of the season, which also extended their losing streak to 10 games. Looking at the Big 12 standings Iowa State’s loss against Texas wasn’t hard to predict, as they occupy the last place in the Conference with a 1-12 record and 14-14 overall. This made things easier for the Longhorns to beat the 18 point spread.
Against Texas and for the 13th time in the season Diante Garrett led Iowa State in points with 16 that night, accounting 30.1% of the Cyclone’s points. He has been pretty consistent in the last eight games where he has finished with straight double-digit points, but the team as a whole is his antithesis.
With only three games left in the tournament the Cyclones can only wish for putting and end to their 11 loss streak and finish the season with a winning record. As for Texas, leader of the Big 12, it’s almost time to start thinking about March Madness.
Both of them will play this coming Saturday, February 26. Texas will do so on the road against the Colorado Buffaloes, and Iowa State will receive the Nebraska Cornhuskers.